Donald Trump’s book “Time to Get Tough,” originally published in 2011, is out in paperback on Aug. 31. As befitting the presidential campaign of the Republican front-runner, the new cover has a few classy upgrades:
Most obvious: Trump looks happy!
The 2011 cover has a stern, tight-lipped, arms-crossed Trump, very much an “Apprentice” Trump or a first-GOP-debate Trump, a Trump who is ready to get tough. But in the reboot, Trump is flashing a toothy smile. And it’s not a sarcastic smile, either. This is not your I-smile-because-I-have-so-much-more-money-than-you Trump, as on the cover of his 2004 book “How to Get Rich.” No, this is friendly Trump, approachable Trump, morning-in-America Trump, you’re-hired Trump. It’s more inviting than the original, but it’s also a standard politician’s smile. And it is jarring given the book’s title.
A new subtitle
The 2011 subtitle was “Making America #1 Again,” a suitably Trumpesque line, but not consistent with the candidate’s 2016 brand. In case you’ve missed the hat (is that possible?) Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again.” That’s the subtitle on the new book cover, too, along with an exclamation point and registered trademark symbol. On the volume’s copyright page, you learn that “Make America Great Again® is a registered trademark of Donald J. Trump.” Don’t steal it.
Out of Washington
In the original version, Trump is positioned in front of the Capitol building. Message: Time to get tough with all those politicians! In the new edition, however, Washington is gone. The new backdrop image is blurry, and New Yorkers I’ve consulted are divided on the new locale (Is that Manhattan’s West Side and the Hudson River? The Lower East Side? Stuyvesant Town?), but the change emphasizes two things. First Trump is not a creature of Washington. Second, don’t forget how he made his money — building buildings! Those are the keys to his campaign: outsider status and financial success.
Love for the New York Times
Trump is conflicted about the New York Times these days. Speaking in Greenville, S.C., on Aug, 27, he seemed starry-eyed about the coverage the paper was devoting to him: “I love the New York Times, it’s great. . . I’m always on the front-page of the New York Times. . . . Especially if you come from New York, when you’re on the front page, that means like a lot.” But then he spent several minutes criticizing an article about him in the Times, holding the paper aloft, and finally flinging it toward the crowd, muttering, “you can have it, anybody want it?”
When it comes to promoting the paperback, Trump has no such qualms. Right above his name on the cover, we see those four coveted words of book publishing: “New York Times bestseller.” And bestseller is in all caps. Because a Trump book is THE BEST.
The name trumps the title
The hierarchy of the cover text is upended in the 2015 version. “Donald J. Trump” is now stripped across the top of the book cover, rather than the bottom. The title is now at the bottom, with the slogan/subtitle above it, rather than below it. All the words are italicized in gold letters (matching Trump’s tie) except for the subtitle, which is in white letters (matching Trumps’ teeth). Overall, the two things that leap out first are the Donald himself, and his 2016 brand. You get the feeling that would have been the chosen title if Trump had written a new campaign book altogether. But he didn’t write a new book, which brings us to. . .
“Updated for 2016”
A red button on the cover — right over the top of the letter “h” in “tough” — tells us that the book has been revised for the presidential race. How extensively? A representative from Regnery Publishing informed me that “many of the changes are minimal on the interior” of the book, although “the exterior features a brand new cover.” There’s a metaphor in there somewhere for the campaign of a real-estate developer.
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